Studies of controlled reperfusion after ischemia. XIX. Reperfusate composition: benefits of blood cardioplegia over fluosol DA cardioplegia during regional reperfusion--importance of including blood components in the initial reperfusate

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1991 Feb;101(2):284-93.


Hypothesis: Initial reoxygenation with blood cardioplegic solution produces better regional recovery than with Fluosol DA cardioplegic solution (Green Cross Corporation, Osaka, Japan) because blood cardioplegia ensures delivery of important blood components (i.e., plasma and red blood cells) that limit reperfusion damage.

Methods: Twenty-five dogs underwent 2 hours of ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery followed by controlled reperfusion at 50 mm Hg through an internal mammary graft on total vented bypass. Five dogs received normal blood reperfusion, 10 dogs received a 20-minute reperfusion with Fluosol DA 20% cardioplegic solution, and 10 others received a blood cardioplegic reperfusate of identical composition (i.e., pH, calcium, potassium, glucose, osmolarity). Regional oxygen consumption was measured during reperfusion, and segmental shortening (ultrasonic crystals), tissue water content, and histochemical damage (triphenyltetrazolium chloride stain) were assessed 2 hours later.

Results: Reperfusion with normal blood failed to restore contractile function (3% systolic shortening), caused severe edema (81% water content), and caused marked histochemical damage (48% triphenyltetrazolium chloride nonstaining). Hearts reperfused with Fluosol DA cardioplegic solution did not take up as much oxygen as hearts receiving blood cardioplegic reperfusion (37 versus 54 ml/100 gm, p less than 0.05). Blood cardioplegia was superior to Fluosol DA cardioplegia in recovery of segmental contractility (69% versus 34% systolic shortening, p less than 0.05), produced less edema (79.5% versus 80.9% water content, p less than 0.05), and produced less histochemical damage with triphenyltetrazolium chloride (11% versus 40% area of nonstaining/area at risk, p less than 0.05).

Conclusions: Initial reperfusion with a blood cardioplegic solution ensures better oxygen utilization, superior recovery of regional contractility, and less tissue damage than Fluosol DA cardioplegic reperfusion. These data emphasize the importance of including blood components (plasma or red blood cells) in the oxygenated cardioplegic reperfusate to limit reperfusion injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood*
  • Cardioplegic Solutions* / adverse effects
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Dogs
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fluorocarbons*
  • Heart Rate
  • Hydroxyethyl Starch Derivatives
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocardial Reperfusion* / adverse effects
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Vascular Resistance


  • Cardioplegic Solutions
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Hydroxyethyl Starch Derivatives
  • glucose, glycerol, hydroxyethyl starch, perfluorodecalin, perfluorotripropylamine, pluronic F-68, salts, yolk phospholipids drug combination
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Oxygen